A friend of mine asked on Facebook yesterday, “Mommies, what matters?”
She said that one of her friends was told she was a bad mother because her kids wear hand-me-down clothes.
Everyone who responded to this post completely disagreed with the thought. I am not surprised we all disagreed, but then I thought about it some more.
First off, I am not planning on judging the person who made this comment. If you think about it, the world in which we live is obsessed with money and having the newest, best stuff. Often our feelings of self-worth are impacted by how we look, what we have, and how much money we make.
Kids, especially teenagers, are really bombarded with this false reality. They get teased for how they are dressed, or for really anything about them that isn’t defined by their peers as cool. Perhaps that is why this person told this mother she was a bad mother. Who knows?
Teasing is always going to be an issue. It will be hard to stop it. However, I know that we can raise our children in a way that teasing and bullying will not bother them. They will know who they are, how special they are, whose opinions really matter, and what things make a difference in their lives.
How do we do this? Well, there are many experts who have their own opinions. I personally use the expertise of the one who created us. I use the scriptures, the word of God.
How should I react when someone treats me badly?
Matthew 5:44 – But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
Luke 6:35 – But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
This is something all of us can do, whether we are a child getting teased, a mother being insulted, etc. Praying for someone who has hurt us can bring a lot of peace, for instead of hatred or bitterness or fear, we can feel compassion and mercy. We can feel the love that God has for that person, regardless of behavior.
They think they are better than me because I don’t have what they have. Is that true?
Matthew 5:45 – …for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Acts 10:34 – Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.
Proverbs 22:2 – The rich and poor meet together: the Lord is the maker of them all.
Regardless of earthly wealth and prestige, each of us is a child of God. He created all of us. God loves everybody unconditionally with a love we cannot even fathom, whether we follow Him or not.
Is having the best stuff and looking the best really what makes people happy? Is it what we should want? Does it define who we are?
1 Samuel 16:7 – But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.
Proverbs 22:1 -A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
Matthew 6:19-21 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
1Timothy 6:10 – For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 – Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God.
The Lord counsels against the love of money, favor, and physical appearance. What matters is the richness of one’s soul and heart.
If having lots of money and things aren’t important, what is?
1Timothy 6:11 – But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
John 14:6 – Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Just as Jesus said in Matthew 6, lay up treasures in Heaven. This life is short. We can’t take our money, nice clothes, and fancy electronics with us. Our character, our faith, our love, our knowledge, we can take with us. As we try to be like Jesus and follow His perfect example, we will be blessed. What really matters is outlined beautifully in the beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12). Any blessing the Lord gives to us is infinitely more valuable than anything we can acquire on earth.
Based on all this, “Mommies, what matters?”
Mosiah 4:14-15 – And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness. But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.
3 John 1:4 – I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth
Isaiah 54:13 – And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live…Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities (The Family: A Proclamation to the World).